QUEENS — A group of television show producers — and one of the world's biggest soccer stars — have teamed up to open a more than 150,000-square-foot production studio in the borough, officials said.
The consortium, dubbed Queens MediaWorks, is the brainchild of media executives Brent Montgomery and Bruce David Klein, investor Richard Seet and soccer star David Villa.
Montgomery is the CEO of ITV America, which produces shows including "Duck Dynasty," Cake Boss," "Pawn Stars" and "Real Housewives of New Jersey."
Klein's Atlas Media is behind "Hotel Impossible" and "The Mind of a Murderer."
Assemblyman Francisco Moya, a friend of Villa's who has teamed up with him in the past to bring his soccer academy to Queens, helped facilitate the plan — pushing the principal investors to look for space in Queens.
While the borough already has multiple film studios, including Silvercup and Kaufman-Astoria, Queens MediaWorks will focus on unscripted, non-fiction programming.
"We want to bring this industry that is growing, and building that economic base here," Moya said. "We want to highlight a borough that not only has the capacity to bring that type of industry here, but also has the talent to be part of this industry that's really growing."
The site will offer ample production space at rate that's estimated to be 30 to 50 percent cheaper than Manhattan, according to officials.
There will also be a program geared towards local students interested in careers in television called Media Path.
The founders have developed some of the most popular unscripted shows on television and say they look forward to finding a spot to bring their work to Queens.
They're still looking for space in the borough, and plan to open by summer 2018.
"Queens MediaWorks has the potential to fend off the skyrocketing costs of doing business in Manhattan, while creating a cost-effective New York hub for production companies and related businesses that will help ensure the growth and longevity of unscripted," both said in a joint statement.